Monday, April 16, 2012

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: Miller Lite

The right way to advertise Miller Lite, or anything for that matter

If you drink American beer you’ve drank Miller Lite before, unless you’re a second generation Budweiser employee, and even then I kind of doubt it.  When you drank Miller Lite for the first time you surely thought to yourself, “This is awful.  This is the third most popular beer in America?  Guess that explains how Crash won Best Picture.”  Since we’re all in agreement that Miller Lite is pretty awful, I thought I’d use this Bottomshelf Beer Review to explore Swiller Lite’s epic rise to the commercial pinnacle of the Bottomshelf Beer-amid.
"Sutekh has no need for your  pitiful human beer!"

You’ve all seen the ads:

Three fucking idiots of mixed ethnicities are standing in a bar full of ethnically diverse but unusually attractive people.  Smoking Hot Female Bartender with Giant Tits enters and approaches the trio of douchebag looking idiots.

Smoking Hot Female Bartender with Huge Tits: What’ll it be?

Idiot #1: Miller Lite.

Idiot #2: Miller Lite

Idiot #3: Whatever.

Idiot #1 (to Idiot #3):  Dude, that’s the second unmanly thing you’ve done today!

Idiot #3:  What was the first?!?

Idiot #2:  You tried to suck my dick.

Then we get a shot of the dude acting like a total queer and everyone has a good laugh at Idiot #3’s expense.  Congratulations, you've just seen every Miller Lite ad for the last ten years.  The commercials change (dude in Jar Jar Binks costume loves the “Other” Light Beer) but the message remains the same: drink Miller Lite and you’ll be beefy and strong like a dude in a Tom of Finland picture. Drink any other light beer and you’re probably an effeminate dork.
Choose wisely, or she'll never sleep with you

I'm kind of a dick.  I'll call someone a pussy for listening to Belle and Sebastien or not eating onions. For a beer commercial to really bother me it has to be offensive and stupid.  Aside from the ads' barely disguised homophobia, I think my problem is the absurdity of implying that any light beer is inherently cooler or more masculine than another.  All light beer sucks.  Also, why do his friends give a shit what kind of beer he drinks?  More importantly, why are they hanging out with a guy that dresses in clothes that would make Prince blush?  I guess Miller Lite assumes everyone is as insecure as they are about their wimpy beer.   I would really like to meet the guy this tactic works on, a dude so insecure he only drinks Miller Lite, lest anyone think him some kind of bitch.  And then I want to make fun of him, because like I said, I’m kind of a dick.
A man so girly he doesn't drink Miller Lite

Miller Lite’s “tough guy” thing goes almost all the way back to the beer’s inception.  Miller Lite began its life as “Gablinger’s Diet Beer” in 1967.  As appetizing as that sounds Gablinger had to sell to Meister Brau in Chicago, where it acquired its famous “L-I-T-E” spelling as “Meister Brau Lite.”  Mesiter Brau marketed their new lite beer to dudes that didn’t want to be total fatties, but dudes that were still definitely not chicks.  To that end MB aggressively marketed their beer during sporting events, a tactic Miller continued when they acquired the beer 1973.

Soon after the purchase of MB Lite, Miller began their famous “Taste Great/Less Filling” advertising campaign.  Typically these ads centered around manly men (e.g. lumberjacks; famous athletes; Vikings; chainsaw jugglers; Robot Jox) fighting over whether Miller Lite was good because it tasted great, or that it was less filling.  At their best these ads showed super models rolling around half naked in a mud pit, and at their worst they somewhat amusingly attempted to draw a link between badass motherfuckers, like Zap Rowsdower, and Miller Lite.  But flash forward 25 years or so and they’re calling you a dork with a small dick for not drinking their crappy beer.

One of their better ads:

At the end of the day, Miller Lite’s popularity still astounds me, although I will concede that it’s probably just a matter of taste.  I don’t like lite beer.  I never have and I never will.  Why anyone would drink Swiller Lite when there are better lite beers at a fraction of the price (e.g. Buck Range Light, Old Style Light or even Keystone Light) is beyond me.  What I will not concede, is that their commercials are anything other than offensive to women, gays, and most importantly straight guys. Straight white guys are the largest most powerful demographic in the United States.  Miller Lite you’ve made a powerful enemy.
Hey idiots, this is how you advertise a beer.

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